What does the future of architecture and design look like? Here's a big clue, it is all about the well being of the people who occupy the spaces, and it is proven to make them happier. Creating spaces that bring the outside inside is an art form, and is becoming more widely accepted and utilized.
Biophilic design in its simplest form within the building industry is a conscious and thoughtful attempt to increase user connectivity with the natural environment. Biophilic design connects our inherent desire to affiliate with nature in the modern built environment. An extension of the theory of biophilia, biophilic design recognizes that our species has evolved for more than 99% of its history in adaptive response to the natural world and not to man made or artificial creations.
While office buildings, homes and the places we learn include biophilic design elements are already popular today, and on their way to becoming the norm, there are many fresh ideas at the cutting edge of the movement that will more than likely become the mainstream in years to come.
There are many elements that go into the construction of a new or remodeled building. Using natural materials that enhance the functionality of the space is important for creating a space that will both stand out and blend well with the built environment. Living walls create a sense of bringing nature into the space while keeping things organized and clean. The cascading look of a living wall can add a lot of green living material while requiring a relatively small footprint in the space.
It can be difficult to find materials that are colorful and also attractive, Mixed species reclaimed wood products add a splash of color and feel very natural and inviting. Elements like a conference table or desk are great choices not only because they stand out and create a visual statement, but also for their ability to be moved around making them more flexible over the life of the building.
Common space is an important part of many peoples day. Having a place to work or relax that promotes feeling good is not only enjoyable but also promotes creativity and becomes more productive for an individual or group of co workers. Large windows are a great way to bring in more light and make the space feel larger and more open.
Conference rooms have a tendency to be more useful than beautiful. Incorporating softer more natural elements is one way to break up the space and make it more inviting for everyone. One great idea is adding a feature wall made from natural woods. Incorporating wood with texture and depth will enhance the space and does not need to be overwhelming to create great design.
Wood and plants are great together, combining color, texture and the sense of a healthy living space. Adding an abundance of living materials not only looks great it can improve air quality and noise pollution throughout the building. A very cost effective way to add greenery is through the use of potted plants, which can be placed throughout common areas and also incorporated into smaller spaces and individual offices.
Everyone needs a place to relax and enjoy lunch or a snack during the day. A great break are is not only a place for employees to gather, it can also act as a place to take clients and guests when touring or visiting the office. Incorporating elements that continue the design of the main space into the break room has become the norm and looks great.
Every detail counts, big and small when incorporating the principals of biophilia into a space. Simple wood panels are visually appealing and functional, creating privacy separation when needed. For office buildings trying to achieve LEED or WELL Building certification, including biophilic elements can be a cost effective choice in obtaining the points needed to become certified.
From the interior to the exterior, incorporating living elements let's the world know that first impressions and details matter. Green living roofs have many benefits from being more energy efficient when heating or cooling a building to providing a place to incorporate healthy plants in the structure and some also add pollen rich vegetation and bees to the mix, which we all know is essential to our food source as well as the overall health of our planet.
Light colored woods keep it bright and fun. Sustainably harvested white oak adds color and texture while being more uniform in appearance and creating modern looks that are very natural and will last.
Studies have recently shown that adding biophilic elements to buildings increases daily productivity while reducing time missed from work, these are factors that impact a companies bottom line directly through operating costs.
From the conference room to the main lobby today's modern work spaces are becoming more people friendly and biophilic design is a big part of it all. With a lagre part of our time spent in the office it is increasingly more important than ever to design spaces that encourage wellness and creativity. Adding elements that feel more natural and enhance the sense of nature as well as feeling good is a top priority of leading companies large and small.